New disabled bays have made Hill Street, Wisbech, hazardous for pedestrians

Hill Street, Wisbech.

Hill Street, Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

I HAD reason to visit a retail outlet last week in Hill Street, Wisbech.

Hill Street, Wisbech.

Hill Street, Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

This is not something I do on a regular basis so I was surprised to see how much the shopper experience had been compromised by the ‘new’ traffic arrangements in the town centre.

Hill Street, Wisbech.

Hill Street, Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

Parking bays appear to have been created on the north side of Hill Street, thereby allowing the holders of disability permits to park and other vehicles to load.

As a result the increased traffic generated by the modified traffic regulations in the Market Place is forcing an unusually high number of vehicles to mount the ‘footway’ along the front of shops on the south side. I use the term ‘footway’ because the change of surfacing material gives this impression to pedestrians.

The ‘footway’ lacks the protection of a raised kerb as existed pre-1992 and the construction is only designed for the occasional passage of vehicles, not the constant use that it receives today.


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In addition the bollard provided during the original repave, to protect shopper/pedestrians on the south side, has been removed.

I, and several others, witnessed vehicles travelling past the legally parked vehicles at speeds clearly hazardous to anyone entering or leaving shops on the south side of the street.

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To further degrade the street scene, reinstatement to the ‘buff’ coloured paving have been carried out with black bituminous material.

Did no one consider the adverse effect the recent traffic changes would have on the fabric and vitality of the town centre and Hill Street in particular?

Will the obvious defects in the traffic strategy be corrected at the end of the trial period or will the town centre simply continue its spiral into terminal chaos?

JOHN KNOTT

Via e-mail

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